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blood donor recruiting

Getting your message in front of potential blood donors has become increasingly difficult.  Getting them to consume your content and engage with your blood center is even tougher. Because of that, we’ve put together a list of 15 new and innovative ways you can recruit blood donors online.

1.) Mobile apps

I’m not talking about creating your own; I am talking about serving up content on the apps your donors are using. Some of the hottest trends in apps right now are Snapchat, Blab, Tumblr, and Periscope. Each of these have great applications in our industry. To make sure you go where your donors are going, follow Mashable and Social Media Today, and allocate marketing dollars to have a presence where your donors are going every day!

2.) Streaming Media

According to the Huffington Post, 40% of all households with a TV and internet have a streaming media source like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. I hear ads on Pandora for local doctor’s offices and spas regularly but never my local blood center. And even more astounding, Forrester predicts only 50% of all TV viewers by 2025 will consume content via traditional cable TV (more information can be found here). While that sounds far away, that’s only 9 years from now.  We need to figure out how to be in front of our donors now.

3.) Press Releases

We are all doing them, but we need to shift the way that we use them. Engagement increases by 18% when you add photos and 55% when you embed video (via Hubspot). Get outside of your comfort zone and use your press releases to create your own buzz! Push your releases out on social media and go for viral impact! Press releases shouldn’t be for damage control or announcements – be creative and make some noise!

4.) Video

As I mentioned, videos will increase engagement by 55%. Additionally, video accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic. Within the next 2 years alone, it is estimated that 79% of ALL consumer traffic will be taken up by video (via Hubspot). Now is a good time to get good at it! You should be adding video to your Facebook and Twitter accounts starting today! The good news is that we are talking casual video, not professional video. For Gen X-ers and Millennials, we need to get away from stuffy professional photos and professionally edited and scripted videos. Our audience wants us to be real, be candid, and be like them.

5.) Retargeting

Retargeting is the process of cookie-ing a donor’s web browser and then following them around the web serving up ads that keep your message in front of them and continuously inviting them back to your website to schedule their next appointment. For example, say a donor visits your site but doesn’t schedule. Later that day, they hop online to do some shopping, and there’s your ad asking them to come back and schedule an appointment. It is a wonderful way to stay in front of donors that are kicking the tires (so to speak).

6.) Live Chat

By now, most everyone has probably used chat. Generationally speaking, Millennials aren’t big on talking, so we need outlets to communicate with them that don’t include speaking. Having live chat options on your website for your donors provides a great option to help them with login issues and also allows a trained representative to urge them to schedule an appointment before leaving the site.

7.) Blogging

Blogging is a great way to disseminate your message in a casual manner. Businesses that blog receive 97% more links to their websites. If you want to see a fellow blood center that is knocking it out of the park with a wonderful blog, take a look at Stanford Blood Center. I have read that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human. That is a scary stat for a call center executive, but it is also why I am focused on so many of these other recruitment ideas and I am literally begging blood centers to diversify their marketing efforts.

8.) Email

Most of you are already doing email, so I won’t spend much time on this, but consider a couple of tips. First, make sure you are including social sharing buttons on every email and build your content to be shared. You’ll see higher clickthrough rates – sometimes up to 150% higher! Also, if you aren’t already doing so, look at incorporating triggered emails. Millennials particularly want personalization. Define milestones and trigger messages to celebrate them.

9.) Google AdWords

Most of you have tried them and likely didn’t have a ton of traffic from them, which brings me to some good news and bad news. The bad news is, you spent money on something that didn’t work. The good news is Google has changed the game completely – literally last month. Most terms for blood banking are very reasonable, and you can get in the game for a very low investment.

10.) Display Ads

Google Ad Grants work just like Google AdWords online, but if you qualify, you can get up to $10,000 of in-kind AdWords every month! You need to apply and qualify, so it’s not for everyone, but there’s a tremendous opportunity for both awareness and savings if you do qualify. Make sure you write this one down on your list to research!

11.) Podcasts

Podcasts are interesting, because I struggle to come up with any riveting content that we could produce regularly for a podcast. But what I do think is a great application is advertising on a podcast. 67% of podcast listeners don’t mind receiving sponsorship messages, compared to 6% of TV viewers. Find local podcasters with strong followings and craft a message to their listeners!

12.) Social Media

Just about everyone is on social media, so please don’t tune me out here. I’m not talking about having a Facebook page and Twitter account. As an industry, we are there, but it is not enough – not even close. Every second there are 20,000 people on Facebook. I only give that stat because I love it, and I think it’s important that everyone knows that Facebook isn’t just a place to throw up a message or a picture every now and then. The average person spends 9 hours digitally connected. 40 minutes each day are spent on Facebook. With 1.3 million pieces of content being pushed out each minute, you need to make yours stand out! Ad prices have risen considerably, but you truly can’t afford not to advertise on Facebook. That said, it has to be done with precision. You have to know your segments and tailor your ads to meet their interests otherwise your content won’t be seen.

13.) App Creation

This one is referring to creating our own app. The key to a successful app is getting adoption and making your app a part of the donor’s everyday life. This is particularly difficult when our call to action is every 56 days. Incorporate games, music, downloads, and anything you can to keep your donors opening your app. Canadian Blood Services has a wonderful app if you are looking for an example of a great app structure.

14.) User-generated Content

“Instead of creating content, we should be creating opportunities for content creation: Instagrammable moments, inspiring experiences.” ~ Sophie Turton

Ask donors to provide reviews. Post to their pages. Give them photo props to use taking selfies in the chair. Have a costume for selfies. Be silly, embrace the fun side of social media, and give your donors something to talk about. 68% of consumers say positive reviews make them trust a local business more. User-generated content can help you get the community connection back to your donor centers. Leverage relationships to get great content!

15.) Texting

If you aren’t using texting yet, my only advice is to begin right away! Texting your appointments will increase your show rates. It’s perfect for cancelled drives, drive reminders, and urgent needs. The response is still small (as a percentage), so be very careful not to use texting for blasts. This is an example of watering down your content. Use it very specifically and targeted.

I certainly don’t suggest taking all 15 of these and implementing them tomorrow. Instead, choose one or two of interest and start testing them out. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to send me a message or comment below!

In what other ways do you recruit blood donors online?  What tactics would you like to know more about?

Make sure you check back for 15 new twists on offline marketing ideas for blood donor recruitment.

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Determining if co-sourcing your blood center’s donor recruitment is right for you can be a very difficult choice.  Will it really reduce your overall cost? Can it really improve your overall strategy? Will it ultimately help your blood center operate more efficiently and effectively?  All valid and important questions.

Based on 16 years of experience with more than 40 blood center clients, Incept has determined that 11 biggest differences between internal blood donor recruitment and external blood donor recruitment.  Read on to see how those differences can drastically effect your bottom line.

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Most of us know that the key to a successful strategy is to stick to it. But how do we stick to a strategy when the blood center industry is changing every day?  The changes facing our industry are significant and are making executive roles more difficult than ever. We are dealing with things like:

  • Decreasing demand
  • Increased competition
  • Price pressures on every department
  • Patient blood management programs
  • Acquisitions
  • Personnel challenges

Not to mention, inventory fluctuations.  For years we’ve battled with never having enough inventory. Then the industry had a surplus. Now we find ourselves attempting to react to both problems, often in the same month! How do we, as organizational leaders, create a strategy to recruit donors that is cost-effective, flexible to our changing needs, and stable enough to keep us moving forward in the future?

Over the last 16 years, Incept has helped over 40 blood centers reduce cost, increase collections, and improve donor relationships. Last year alone, we conducted over 6 million conversations with blood donors.

Incept’s VP of Client Results, Billie Johnson, will share this extensive experience in a webinar presentation with ADRP on December 10, 2015 at 1PM CST.  We encourage you to register for this important blood center strategy session.

Register for the webinar here.

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Managing & Recruiting to Meet Tomorrow’s Needs Today

The way you manage your blood donor recruitment can mean the difference between a life saved and a life lost.

In working with over 40 blood centers over the last 16 years, we’ve found that there are 6 essential strategies and tactics that help you project the future needs of your community. In order to recruit the right type at the right time, you must use:

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Join us on August 28th at 2:00 PM EST to learn about these recruitment strategies and tactics to manage and recruit to meet tomorrow’s needs today.

Please register for this webinar by filling out the form here.

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For years blood centers have battled with never having enough inventory.  Then the industry had a surplus.  Now we find ourselves attempting to react to both problems, often in the same month!  How do we, as organizational leaders, create a strategy that is cost effective, flexible to our changing needs, and stable enough to keep us moving forward in the future?

Automated blood donations allow blood centers to collect the most essential components in that moment.  It really is the answer the blood donation industry has searched for.    While many blood centers leave the conversion of donors up to the collections staff at donor sites (which see very few positive results), there is a real opportunity in transporting that responsibility to the tele-recruitment staff.

Over the past 6 years, Incept has developed an automated tele-recruitment strategy with some of our largest clients.  We use a calling strategy that identifies the best time and best donors to achieve the highest impact which we constantly analyze and adjust.  Our recruitment team receives continuous education and development so that they have the tools needed to educate donors on the need and importance of specific donation types and prepares donors for a successful donation.

Using this methodology, Incept has seen dramatically successful results.  As a highlight, we will discuss the success of the campaign since February of 2015 around platelet donations for one of our clients below.

Platelet Donor Recruitment

New platelet donors have always been one of the hardest groups to recruit.  The donation process is longer and a bit more inconvenient for the donor, so when given the quicker opportunity of donating whole blood, most donors will jump at that option.  While none of us would pass up a blood donation of any kind, it is much more beneficial to blood centers and the patients in need to receive a platelet donation compared to a whole blood donation from a less compatible blood type.

In order to assist each blood center in optimizing their inventory based on today’s levels and tomorrow distribution needs, Incept built a strategic campaign for recruiting automated donors using the automation principles in the chart outlined below.  Based on inventory and need, what is offered by blood type could change – daily!

Results:

  • Incept has generated 50.87% of this client’s platelet collection goal.
  • Scheduling previous platelet donors for another platelet or platelet combo donation resulted in a front-end conversion rate of 92.34%.
  • By targeting A+ male donors for a platelet donation, Incept has successfully converted 83.52% of the donors spoken to.

What do these results really mean?  The right product, at the right time, and at a lower cost!

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Your tele-recruitment investment may be the most important financial decision you make this year.

In working with over 40 blood centers over the last 16 years, we’ve found that an optimized tele-recruitment strategy can:

  • Save money
  • Deliver the right product at the right time
  • Prevent critical appeals during difficult summer months

Join us on May 21st at 2:00 PM EST for a FREE webinar to learn ways to improve your collections at a lower cost this summer.

Please register for this webinar by filling out the form here.

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On the new Conversational Quality process, one of the important indicators under conversational skills is personalizing the phone call. Personalizing every phone call is important, because it allows you to build a relationship that encourages the donor to donate again. To begin, personalizing a phone call is something that new Conversational Marketing Experts (CMEs) may struggle with, but there are several things you can add to your phone calls that help enhance the donor’s understanding of the blood bank or the importance of their blood donation to the community.

Personalizing Via Donation History

One of the key ways a CME can personalize a phone call is by looking in the donor’s profile to see how many times they have donated with the blood center in the past. One of the most common facts about donating blood is that every donation can save as many as three lives. When we look at the donor’s profile to see how many donations they have made with the blood center, we are then able to multiply those donations by three and tell the donor that they saved all of those lives with their donations. By telling the donor how many lives they have saved, we are painting a picture of how important their donations are, which will make them want to donate again.

Personalizing Via Rewards

Another way to personalize the phone call is by using the Donor Center’s rewards program to let the donor know how they are able to benefit from the rewards. Look at the donor’s profile, and see how many reward points they have. Then inform the donor about what they are eligible to receive with those points. These rewards are ways to entice donors to come and donate so that the blood center can ensure that the blood supply stays at a safe level thanks to repeat blood donos looking forward to earning rewards.

Personalizing Via Conversation

Not all blood centers have donor profiles to look at. When the blood centers don’t have profiles, it is more difficult to personalize a call. However, if the donor says something about their personal life, this is a great time to connect with them on a deeper level and have a conversation with the donor about their interests. Having a legitimate conversation with the donor makes it easier to ask them for the appointment and makes them more likely to agree to it.

There are many ways to personalize the phone call, but the three examples given above are very effective. Personalizing the phone call is important because it allows us to connect to the donor, and it helps us to inform them so that they are more likely to come in and donate again. Personalizing the call will ultimately benefit both the donor and our company, which is why it is important to always implement it in your phone calls.

How do you personalize your blood donor recruitment calls?

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While on the phones, it’s very easy to be distracted because there is a lot of multitasking that goes into being a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME). However, as a CME, one of your main jobs is to actively listen to what the donor is saying to you. You cannot have a productive conversation with the donor unless you listen to their side of the story. Without listening, you are not having a conversation; you are talking at the donor.

When the donor is speaking to you, it gives you a chance to use active listening to find the tone of their voice and recognize how they are feeling. By determining what tone they have with you, you are able to match it. If the donor is upset or angry, you want to sound calming; if the donor is bubbly and excited, you want to match their excitement. Oftentimes, people make the mistake of not matching the donor’s tone, and it can be a killer to the call. For instance, if a CME sounds too excited and shrill and the donor on the other end sounds sad, the donor would be more likely to hang up.

It is also important to use active listening to truly understand why the donor is either motivated or unmotivated to make a donation. Being a CME can be a difficult task at times because you are busy trying to be one step ahead of the donor. However, if you don’t listen to what the donor is telling you, the way you respond to them could give them a negative view of the donor center, and they might feel like you don’t really care about what they are saying. We want the donors to know that we care about them, so when they are explaining a situation to you, take a moment to truly listen to what they are saying so that you are able to converse with them and give them a genuine response.

Using active listening from the very beginning of a call may be difficult because being a CME means doing a lot of multitasking, but being a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) also means that we need to have productive conversations that drive meaningful results. Having a productive conversation means listening to the needs and concerns of our donors. If you do not use your active listening skills you could give the donors the wrong impression and, in turn, lose an appointment. So always take the time to pay attention!

How else do you use active listening skills in your blood donor recruitment calls?

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Strategy + Change = HELP!!!

Most of us know that the key to a successful strategy is to stick to it. But how do we stick to a strategy when our industry is changing every day? For years we’ve battled with never having enough inventory. Then the industry had a surplus. Now we find ourselves attempting to react to both problems, often in the same month! How do we, as organizational leaders, create a strategy to recruit donors that is cost-effective, flexible to our changing needs, and stable enough to keep us moving forward in the future?

During Billie’s session, she will discuss what components of blood center strategy need to be evaluated, how to incorporate goals and accountability, how to build a self-correcting reporting system, how to evaluate outcomes, and how to incorporate innovation to ensure a successful today and tomorrow!

Billie Johnson will be speaking at the ADRP Conference in Denver Colorado on April 22nd at 8:30AM. This will be a session you won’t want to miss!

Download the ADRP Conference brochure here.

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The changes facing the blood center industry are significant and are making executive roles more difficult than ever.

You are faced with many challenges, including:

  • Decreasing demand
  • Increased competition
  • Price pressures on every department
  • Patient blood management programs
  • Acquisitions
  • Personnel challenges

Over the last 16 years, Incept has helped over 40 blood centers reduce cost, increase collections, and improve donor relationships. Last year alone, we conducted over 6 million conversations with blood donors and recruited more than 267,552 units, all on a fixed cost-per-donor payment structure. Meaning our clients only pay for a usable unit.

Billie Johnson, Incept’s VP of Client Results, uses her 16 years of experience to develop customized solutions to increase collections and improve donor relationships for each of our clients. Based on her expertise in Donor Center Strategy, we’ve created a monthly webinar series dedicated to helping the blood center industry face new and existing challenges.

We’d like to invite you to a private webinar series hosted by Billie and special guest Dave Walter. On April 16th, they will be sharing industry best practices regarding goals and accountability for tele-recruitment, as well as answering your most pressing questions.

Please register for this webinar by clicking here.

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